So, you’re convinced that being kind is how you want to live your life. And you’re making significant progress in developing your positive mindset, but you’re still looking for more suggestions?
Here are nine ways to include kindness in your life.
- Practice empathy.
You probably know that saying about walking a mile in the other person’s shoes, right? It’s true, empathy and kindness are two sides of the same coin.
Remember, you can have no idea what’s happening in the other guy’s life. They could be on a high or have just received devastating news. They may be dealing with all kinds of problems. And you being short-tempered or cutting in front of them might be the last straw. Why choose to hurt when you can be kind?
- Learn to listen
Sometimes just listening is the greatest gift you can give a person. If a friend or family member is having a tough time, they need to talk. And you need to listen. You might be able to help, or you might not. To start with, they need to be heard.
- Be grateful
So often we’re focused on achieving the next goal, always trying to stay ahead. And that can make you unavailable, or terse. It can keep you focused on yourself instead of others.
Try sitting back and looking around. Feel grateful for all that you have, and all you’ve achieved — being grateful sets you up for being in the kindness mindset. Instead of focusing on getting more, you’ll want to share the love!
- Be kind every day
Start every day by setting the intention to be kind. Consciously choosing kindness before you’ve even gotten out of bed gets you in the kindness zone and makes being kind easier.
You know that habits take several weeks to ‘stick,’ right? Start a kindness habit now, and it will soon become just part of who you are and how you behave. Hardly any effort at all!
- Be a role model
In a world where nastiness is common, and trolling people online is an everyday event, you can stand out by being a role model for kindness.
The world needs kindness more than ever. Like positivity, kindness can be contagious. If you are consciously kind, you’ll likely set up a virtuous kindness circle – your acts and attitudes of kindness will inspire people around you to treat others more kindly. You might even shame those trolls or bullies into better behavior.
6. Be Kind to yourself
Being kind to yourself is just as important as being kind to others, if not more so. It might surprise you to hear that one of the best ways to cultivate a hopeful, optimistic outlook is to practice some radical self-compassion.
Take a moment to look at how you’re reacting. What is your self-talk saying to you? Are you reassuring yourself that things will work out okay, or are you beating yourself up for something you did or didn’t do? Would you talk to your best friend like that? How would they feel?
Be as gentle in your self-talk as you would to a loved one who is in crisis. Be loving and kind, and reassuring. Extend the hand of hope to your own heart, and help yourself on the first steps back towards better times.
7. Self-Compassion Makes You More Optimistic
Being kind to yourself means you can stop that vicious cycle of self-blame and recrimination. It prevents you from ruminating on past mistakes and builds your resilience and confidence so you can pick yourself up and get back on track.
When you are kind and encouraging to yourself, your anxiety levels drop, your mood lifts, and you become more optimistic and hopeful about the future.
8. Cultivate Mindfulness
Perhaps the best way to start your self-compassion practice is to adopt a more mindful attitude to life. Mindfulness focuses on the acceptance of who you are, where you are right now. With all your faults and all your glory. Accept that whatever you’re experiencing and feeling in the present moment is okay.
Mindfulness and self-compassion help you to overcome denial and hesitation in your reality. It allows space for hope to come in.
9. Accept that Hard Times are Part of the Deal
Self-compassion accepts that all human lives are a mixture of hard times and good times. Often the bad things that happen are out of your control. All you can do is decide how you’re going to react. Will you be overwhelmed, or will you be angry? Or will you roll with punches, learn from your experiences, and get back on the horse?
In times of fear or illness or natural disasters or any other of life’s stressors, self-compassion allows you to take guilt or blame out of the equation and deal with whatever you’re faced with.
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